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Sunday, May 28, 2017

  • Saturday, May 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    Today I was sitting on the patio, absent-mindedly watching the bird feeder while trying to figure out a topic for our weekly discussion. The continually lousy weather has put most outdoor activity on hold and I was stumped. Meanwhile, the nearby avian ensemble swooped, preened, flapped, cackled, argued and otherwise behaved just like humans at an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord.
    As I watched a splendid male rose grosbeak digging through the sunflower seeds, I had a sudden inspiration for today’s topic: turf care, with a special focus on chinch bugs and manganese.
    No, seriously, the feathered floor show inspired me to talk about the secrets of feeding the birds. 
    For an outdoors enthusiast who loves wildlife, I believe that having a bird feeder is almost a requirement but we’ve also learned that the whole business isn’t as simple as merely throwing some cheap seed into a feeder and hoping for the best. While we are speaking of animals that have a brain the size of a ball-bearing, they definitely have needs and preferences that must be taken into account if you want to see a good variety of desirable species visiting your tiny avian restaurant.
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  • Friday, May 26, 2017 11:42 PM
    Kelsey Dugger, a junior at Southmont, received a sportsmanship award over the weekend from Benton Central High School. Dugger received the award for the cross country season. Benton Central teams vote for individuals who compete against them that they felt displayed good sportsmanship. Dugger was won of those selected. 
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  • Friday, May 26, 2017 11:42 PM
    All three county schools competed in girls track and field regionals on Tuesday. After a fairly impressive performance in the sectional, many of the local athlete’s seasons ended here. Still an impressive feat to make it this far against some of the best across the state. 
    Southmont’s Brooks Long is the only runner from Montgomery County to extend his season to the state event. Brooks will be competing in the 1600 after running a 4:19.53 to place second in the boys’ regional final Thursday. He has one more week to get prepared for his final high school event next Friday, June 2. 
    North Montgomery had the most athletes competing in the regional from Montgomery County. Unfortunately, they weren’t quite able to qualify for state. Caroline McClaskey was first up for the Chargers. She finished in the top 10 in the 400. She was also a part of North’s 4x400 team that placed 12th with a time of 4:12.63. The junior Kelsey Sabens jumped a 4-10 in the finals of the girl’s high jump for a solid 11th place finish. Corbin Osborne had a similar result to McClaskey in the boy’s 400 with a 10th place finish. A high jumper from North represented the team well, but just missed out on a trip to state. Damon Biddle placed fifth with a height of 5-10.00. 
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  • Friday, May 26, 2017 12:09 AM
    CLAYTON – South Vermillion used seven extra base hits, including two home runs — one a grand slam by Breann Smith in the top of the seventh inning — to swamp Southmont 12-3 in the Sectional 44 championship game at the Cascade softball complex, Thursday.
    The upset of the Mounties, who finished the season creeping into the state’s 2A final softball poll at No. 13, halted the Southmont record at 17-9. The Wildcats remain red hot, extending their winning streak to 14 games.
    “There’s really not a doubt in my mind that the girls wanted this game,” began a disconsolate Jennifer Watson. “The effort, the desire was definitely there. We just didn’t produce as well as we’d like offensively. Made a couple of errors defensively. [South Vermillion] is a good team. You’ve got to hit, and you’ve got to play solid defense.”
    The Southmont skipper quickly found reason to be gratified, however. “I am proud of these girls. This is a good group of girls. There’s a lot of talent there.”
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  • Friday, May 26, 2017 12:08 AM
    The Crawfordsville golf team took down the county championship in commanding fashion Thursday at the Crawfordsville Country Club. The Athenians carded 357 as a team to Southmont’s 370 and North Montgomery’s 374. 
    Southmont Senior Charlie Bullerdick won the county championship as an individual for the second straight year. His 76 edges Crawfordsville’s Devin Guard, who shot a 77. Bob Ryker was next best, four strokes back with an 81. 
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  • Friday, May 26, 2017 12:07 AM
    North Montgomery got off to a hot start in Thursday’s Sectional 25 lid lifter against the Lebanon Tigers. The Chargers plated four runs in the first, before letting the Tigers back into it. However, they may have saved their best for last plating seven runs in the sixth to move on to Monday’s semi-final with an 11-3 win over their Sagamore Conference rivals.
    Justin Clary started the rally in the first with a four pitch walk before Devan Plant was hit by a pitch. Both scored on Bryce Frederick’s double to center, and he came home on Gregory Pietsch’s single to left. Caleb Donahue’s sacrifice fly scored courtesy runner Owen Gregg to give the Chargers the 4-0 lead.
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  • Friday, May 26, 2017 12:07 AM
    Thursday’s Sectional 25 second game turned out to be a pitcher’s duel between Western Boone’s Peyton Young and Crawfordsville’s Trent Johnson. The Stars were able to scratch across two runs in the fifth and made it hold up, ending Class 3A, No. 1 Crawfordsville’s season in the first round of the sectional for the second straight season, this time, 2-0.
    “We had a great week of preparation leading up to tonight, and I thought we were ready mentally and physically,” said head coach John Froedge. “We didn’t play like we normally do, and I’ll take responsibility for that.”
    The Athenians uncharacteristically committed five errors, but Johnson was able to work out of jams with no damage keeping it scoreless until the fifth.
    Felix Martinez drew a two out walk before Riley Reagan beat out an infield hit, their first hit of the game, that moved Martinez to third. Reagan took second on the first pitch to Young, and he helped himself on a line drive up the middle that hit off the second baseman’s glove allowing both Martinez and Reagan to score to make it 2-0.
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  • Thursday, May 25, 2017 4:00 AM
    Here’s another lesson in the power of the Internet. Or, it might be another demonstration of someone with too much time on their hands. Come to think about it, that’s kind of one and the same, isn’t it?
    In early May, after the Indiana High School Athletic Association released its biennial Sectional realignments for team sports, I penned a nifty little rant about the governing body’s decision to align our Montgomery County schools in a Sectional 26 that includes Brebeuf Jesuit (Marion), Guerin Catholic and Hamilton Heights (Hamilton), and Northwestern (Howard) as possible road trips.
    My point was that for a Sectional matchup, the general idea is to keep teams close. Make it as easy as you can for fans and parents to see their kids in a playoff game. That’s been the tradition, and coincidently, it was also logical.
    Now, for Sectional 26, logic is taking a back seat.
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  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 11:27 PM
    North Montgomery entered Wednesday’s championship match looking for the school’s first Regional title. However, the No. 8 Terre Haute South Braves proved too tall a task, winning their third consecutive regional title, handing the Chargers a 5-0 loss, ending their season at 14-5.
    “Plain and simple, we got beat tonight,” said Charger head coach Bob Nabors. “They’re a good team, but they have the advantage of playing year-round thanks to racquet clubs in Terre Haute.”
    “We competed well,” he continued. “I think we did the best we could and didn’t beat ourselves.”
    Terre Haute South won every match not surrendering more than one point to the Chargers except at 2S, where Mary Jackman fell 6-0, 6-4.
    “Mary played smarter as the match went along and was able to score some good points there in the second set,” Nabors said of the sophomore. “Our two doubles team, Megan Merica and Lexi Thomas, came along, worked some things out and scored some points, as well.”
    Kenzie Neal fell at 1S, 6-1, 6-1 and Sydney Utterback at 3S, 6-1, 6-0. 
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  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 11:27 PM
    CLAYTON – Paige Knowling couldn’t find her customary power from the pitching circle, Wednesday night, so she searched for it, and found it in the batter’s box. And found it just in time.
    With Southmont (17-8) trailing Monrovia (13-10) by one run, and a Sectional 44 semifinal game at stake, the soph-omore belted a fastball over the centerfield fence — with a runner aboard — in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Lady Mounties a dramatic come-from-behind win, 7-6.
    It was Knowling’s first home run of her career.
    “You could tell, she was trying to calm her nerves up there,” described Mounties head coach Jennifer Watson, mim-icking her star’s deep breaths. “Then wow! She got the job done.”
    At the time, the situation couldn’t be any more dire.
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  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 11:26 PM
    CLINTON - Cole Wemer tossed a gem, and Southmont received timely hits, as they avenged last week’s loss to Cloverdale, winning their first round Class 2A Sectional 44 game, 11-1 in 6-innings.
    Wemer was dominant early as he was perfect through three and two-thirds innings before a single by Parker Watts broke it up. He surrendered just 3-hits on the night, walking one and struck out eight.
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  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hello world!
    It’s a strange time in the sports world. 
    The postseason. 
    Now it may not be that strange for most. It’s not hard to determine the fate of most teams. The North Montgomery softball team, for all the things good about it, never had a prayer Monday against Lebanon. It just didn’t. Now before you sharpen your pitchforks, it’s OK that the girls were overmatched. That’s just the reality of the situation and despite a lot of what you see going around these day, it’s OK to accept reality. 
    But that doesn’t explain why it’s a strange time – or why what seems like reality isn’t always the norm around these parts. You see, for me the sectional has never really made sense. When I was a sophomore in high school we won the first baseball sectional in school history for Woodlan. Made it two-in-a-row as juniors. Those weren’t supposed to happen. Senior year, we were a lock for the sectional. I debated with my mom why the merits of playing in the school’s first semistate far outweighed the merits of the graduation ceremony. I almost had her convinced – I think – until that pesky sectional that we didn’t win as seniors. 
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  • Chargers head to regional finals
    Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    North Montgomery defeated Northview in the first round match of the girl’s tennis regional at Crawfordsville High School Tuesday. The Chargers won the match 4-1 to advance to the regional finals. Crawfordsville’s Sarah Chalmers was also competing as an individual, but was unable to defeat her opponent from Seeger and eventually fell 2-6, 3-6.
    The Chargers had multiple close matches while facing off against Northview. The team’s number two and three singles players, Mary Jackman and Sydney Utterback, were both able to clutch out wins after losing the first set. Jackman won her match 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 and her teammate Utterback had a similar, but slightly closer match that she was able to win 1-6, 6-2, 6-4. North’s doubles teams scored the final two points to give them this match win. The number one duo of Scout Groves and Jennifer Guard easily won their match 6-0, 6-0. The number two doubles team of Megan Merica and Lexi Thomas had a little bit tougher time as they won the first set 7-6 (3) and the second in a close 6-4. 
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  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    LIZTON - Western Boone picked up some key hits, and capitalized on a few Athenian errors, while the Athenians could only muster one hit off Star pitcher, Olivia Hole, as they saw their softball season end with a 5-0 loss.
    “We thought we could score off them,” said Athenian head coach Britney Carpenter. “We didn’t think that would be an issue.”
    “We just needed to play solid defense and make plays, and we did turn that around,” she continued. “However, we did make some errors in key situations, but we did play much better defense than the first two times we saw them.”
    Hole kept the Athenians off balance all night. Although she only struck out two, both in the first inning, Crawfordsville only managed to hit five balls out of the infield dirt. It wasn’t until two outs in the sixth when Lauren Kellerman beat out a ball to the shortstop for their only hit.
    “We just couldn’t get the hits,” Carpenter said of her team’s offense. “We hit some balls right on the money, but they made the plays.”
    Hole helped herself in the third driving in two runs with a double past the outstretched arm of Kellerman and scored on Shelby Medley’s single to give the Stars a 3-0 lead.
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  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    CLAYTON – Sydney Casteel’s towering first inning 2-run homer to right centerfield jumpstarted Southmont, and the game-winner held up behind Paige Knowling’s seven inning, five hit pearl. The Lady Mounties advance to the second round of the state tournament with a 3-1 conquest of Cloverdale at the Cascade softball complex, Tuesday.
    It was Casteel’s fourth round-tripper of the season, and came at a great time to fire up her teammates in the opener.
    “That was a ‘catalyst hit’. That’s what we really needed to get this game going, and to get on top of them, and then keep the momentum,” said Southmont skipper Jennifer Watson.
    When the Southmont dugout emptied to surround home plate to celebrate first, Paige Knowling — who jolted Clo-verdale with an opening double — and then Casteel, you could almost sense some vigor escape from the Lady Clo-vers.
    “What I really like is our intensity. How we wanted to win this game,” said Watson. “Cloverdale is a really good ball club with a good record. We came with the intensity that we needed.” 
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